Laundry Room Love

An unfortunate casualty to our kitchen renovation is the northern wall of our laundry/mud room, and it’s actually the one wall I like because its home to some great locker and storage space.  The rest of the room is dreadfully outdated and could use some renovating but that’s just not in the budget right now…  so I will gain a new kitchen but lose an essential part of our laundry room all in the name of symmetry (door from kitchen to laundry room has to be centered with the kitchen according to the architect).

We will fix it up one day and when we do I want to be as prepared as possible.  Below are a few of my favorite laundry/mud rooms.

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Love the look and feel of this Miles Redd designed mudroom with its slate floors and clean white carpentry.

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Another image of a mudroom with slate floors along with plenty of coat and shoe space!

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This laundry room has a calming feel with its lovely gray carpentry, gray marble countertops and front loaders – I wouldnt mind doing my laundry in there.

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Here is another beautiful clean white laundry room.  Updated front loaders really make a big difference.

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I also like the idea of coat closets which do a great job at hiding messy coats, bags and shoes – just not sure we have the space for something like that.

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All white in a laundry/ mud room sounds appealing but a fun wall paper to liven things up is an option as well, I think this blue and white zebra wall paper is fantastic.

Anyone recently update their own laundry / mud room and have a decor suggestion or two?  Happy Friday!!


Foyers and Stair Runners as well as a word on First Bites

Front entry ways/foyers are essential areas of the home from a design perspective.  You want a visitors first impression of your home to be a good one and an area that conveys to guests your sense of style.  It’s an easy area to decorate typically as entry ways are small and less daunting as far as furnishings are concerned.  A serene paint color or a fun wall paper print are great ways to start.

Here are a few entry ways that I find beautiful:

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I love how soft the painting is combined with a perfectly styled small console.

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Gorgeous lacquered pink chest with blue zebra print statement rug.

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Im always a fan of blue and yellow combo, especially if it incorporates chinoiserie somehow!

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Lovely color scheme, the chevron rug ties this area together perfectly.

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A front entry way discussion would not be complete without mentioning Tory Burch’s manhattan apartment foyer, the Gracie hand painted wall paper is out of this world beautiful.

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This is not exactly an entry way but I just wanted a reason to mention how fabulous I think Aerin Lauder is…  I should dedicate a post to her style sometime soon.

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The last image above was the inspiration for my own foyer.

Below is my foyer as it is today.  It’s still a work in progress as I need a stair runner and a new light fixture.  The chest looks black in this image but its actually lacquered in a navy blue…thoughts on the room?  I’m always open to suggestions!

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This brings me to my next point – stair runners.  I love Stark’s Antelope print and would love to have the edges bound in a soft pink to match the entry way lamp.  Unfortunately my husband grew up with this exact print at his own home in the 80’s and thinks its dated and likely associates it with living with his parents….  I keep thinking I want something dark to camouflage the inevitable dirt that someone will traipse up the stairs however I’m quiet drawn to Stark’s Small Stars carpet in Oatmeal.  Its neutral and fun but is it too causal for a front entry way?

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The light fixture I go with will have to compliment the runner.  I love the look of a moravian star but obviously the star theme would be a little weird if I went with the Small Stars runner option.  Our ceilings are on the low side so it would have to be subtle, maybe a pretty quatrefoil flush mount from Circa lighting or a simple Oomph lantern.

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Oh and just in case any of you were wondering I did NOT make it to the estate sale in time to get that asian console, I arrived at 1 when the 50% off sale began and someone had purchased the console full price that morning.  Oh well, something new will pop up:)

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A quick word on First Bites.  As I have mentioned in past posts real, healthy, organic foods are a big part of my life.  I love to cook and make healthy meals for my family so when I stumbled across First Bites and their mission I knew I wanted to be apart of the program in some way (still trying to figure that one out).  First Bites is about “inspiring healthy eating habits one bite at a time…among 2-5 year olds, their families and early child care providers.”  If you think your child’s school could benefit from a program such as this you should check out their partnering opportunities – I know I will be looking into it myself!


Asian Consoles and Maxi Dresses

Asian consoles and maxi dresses, those two things go together right?  Well, maybe not but those are two topics on my mind today.  I would also hate to bore you with constant kitchen talk so I will do my best to mix things up a bit.

So first up asian console tables.  I have a spot in my family room that I have been looking to fill with just the right console table, I have visions of a long dark wood console table with two beautiful brass lamps and a gilded mirror above it.  Below are a few console styling images I love:

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I love this table but it was sold by the time I saw it was in stock at again and again here is Dallas:

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Of course there is always that darn decorating budget so I have to be patient with my purchases.  I also know I want a more vintage feel in the table I buy for that space (i.e., slightly used so less expensive).  I have been scourging antique stores in the area as well as local estate sales and I found one!  I havent actually seen it in person but its at an estate sale here in Dallas TODAY which I can’t get to until 1pm so I’m hoping it will still be there and the price will be right!  Will keep you posted.

On to maxi dresses, specifically the variety that can be worn by a pregnant person.

I have two boys and another baby on the way (last one for sure).  Living in Dallas it gets VERY warm here in the summer so my go to wardrobe item is the maxi dress.  After #2 was born I thought I never wanted to see a maxi dress again so I donated a lot of what I had thinking I was done having kids.  There were a couple items I should have held onto but now I guess I have an excuse to update my wardrobe with a few things I will no doubt wear the heck out of all summer.   But where to start?  Shopbop!  They have some great maxi dresses that are lightweight and figure flattering.  I usually LOVE Rachel Pally  but her line this season is filled with cut outs and tiny straps but I did manage to find a cute purple ikat caftan on sale and I also picked up an easy to wear all Velvet black maxi for night-time:

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Calypso, Tory Burch and Roberta Roller Rabbit are always great resources as well, here are a few staples I picked for this summer:

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Love how light weight this calypso top is!

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This Tory top looks great with white jeans and will be a great go to top until I hit that dreaded enormous stage.

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Roberta Roller Rabbit kurtas are so lightweight they make any summer day a breeze!

Happy Weekend!!  Wish me luck at the estate sale!!


Cabinets and Hardware

Most major kitchen renovations require the skills of a “cabinet guy” if you are going the custom route.  Because we require some specific cabinetry due to awkward corners/walls and working around appliances already in place this is the way we are going.  Our cabinet guy, Stan, requested that I send along images of cabinets I like.   I actually struggled with this task for some reason but managed to find a couple that could at least act as a starting place.  I knew I wanted something clean and simple; nothing too decorative as little fingers have a knack for getting food in the hardest to clean places!

Here are a couple of the kitchen cabinet ideas I sent along to Stan:

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I was also toying with the idea of white top cabinets and a color on the bottom, either in navy or gray.  I’m not sure if I will tire of a two toned color scheme sooner than I would an all white one so I think im going to go in the all white direction – seems almost cleaner to me to have everything streamlined in one color (but is that boring?).

Here are a few two toned kitchen images that pull it off:

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I love the tiled floor from that last image – so beautiful.

As for what KIND of white paint I should choose I only know I am in favor of a low or no VOC option, Stan has conveyed to me that the low VOC options are more dull than your standard paint but I think a strong paint odor lingering for months will bother me more than a dull finish.  Any opinions here?  Has anyone worked with low/no VOC paints?

For hardware, as of right now, I’m going with these knobs/pulls from Restoration Hardware:

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Do any of you have refrigerator drawers (in addition to your standard upright)?  I found a floor model on sale and was thinking it could be a great addition.  I love cooking and am already envisioning storing baby #3’s homemade baby food in there!  Speaking of cooking – has anyone picked up a copy of Gwyneth Paltrows new cookbook “It’s All Good” – I personally love it and my kids love her chicken meatballs – I highly rec if you are looking for healthy dinner ideas for  yourself and/or your family.

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Kitchen Counter Stools & Bedding Decisions

Serena & Lily is currently having a 20% off sale through tomorrow – which is forcing me to make a kitchen island bar/counter stool decision.  I love the look of french bistro stools/chairs, here are a couple of my favorites:

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I think the Riviera Counter Stool at S&L hits the nail on the head as far as what I’m looking for.

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I was thinking of waiting until our new island is in place but with this sale and the fact that S&L often runs out of stock quickly I think this is a sign I should pull the plug and get to buying…  now I just need to figure out how many I need!?

Speaking of Serena & Lily and discounts I recently had a coral headboard made in Schumachers Chenonceau for our guest room that DESPERATELY needs bedding.

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The walls are a standard grasscloth with light blue linen window panels so I was thinking the bedding should be neutral (below is an image of my inspiration).

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Maybe something like this from S&L with white duvet:

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Or even Restoration Hardware’s Italian Hotel Satin Stitch bedding line in Shore with coordinating duvet (RH is also having a 20% off sale):

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Decisions decisions!

On a different note – as mentioned in my bio I am what my husband refers to as a “nutritional hobbyist” (or completely obsessed with health and nutrition – especially the homeopathic variety).  I’ve always been a firm believer in the benefits of probiotics and found Michael Pollan’s NYT Magazine article today “Some of My Best Friends Are Germs” fascinating.  If you are interested you can read here.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Kitchen Pendants

I’m finalizing plans this month for a major kitchen renovation beginning in June and one of the design aspects I have been a little hung up on has been the island light fixtures.  I love the simplicity of the Juliska Amalia Column pendants but a friend recently suggested I consider Urban Electrics Chisholm Hall fixtures which you can customize in a variety of hardware and paint finishes.

Why I like the Juliska pendants:  simplicity, elegance of glass and PRICE.  There is really no downside for me here.  I havent been able to find many examples of the pendants in place but I think they look lovely in this gorgeous New Canaan kitchen.

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Although I adore the Chisholm Hall pendants and love that they are so customizable I’m worried that they will be a touch overwhelming in my kitchen as the ceilings are more on the shorter side (house is very old).  Also the price is less than desirable… wah wah.  Here is an example of the pendants in a beautiful mint toned green.

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Any experience working with either of these fixtures?  If so I would love your feedback.  Is there one that you lean towards a little more than the other?  Let me know what you think!